WHO to Include Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani Morbidity Codes


The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to launch the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 11 TM Module 2, focusing on Morbidity Codes related to Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani systems. The launch was held on January 10, 2024, in New Delhi.

The ICD series by WHO serves as a global standard for classifying diseases, providing a common language for health information. While the existing data primarily reflects modern biomedical practices, the upcoming ICD 11 TM Module 2 aims to incorporate data and terminology from Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani (ASU) systems, bringing global uniformity to the classification of traditional medicine.

At a meeting held on January 9th at the Ministry of Ayush, key stakeholders discussed the efforts of the Ministry and the significance of integrating Traditional Medicine into the ICD 11. The Director of Integrated Health Services at WHO Geneva, along with the Technical Officer Tradition, Complementary and Integrative Medicine, participated in these deliberations.

The Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI), under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, facilitates ICD-related activities as the WHO Collaboration Centre. The Ministry of Ayush, in collaboration with WHO, has already developed codes for Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani Medicine through the National Ayush Morbidity and Standardized Electronic Portal (NAMSTE). This categorization of data and terminology will be included in the ICD 11 TM Module 2 series.

The Ministry of Ayush has signed a Donor Agreement with WHO, solidifying their commitment to this collaborative effort. This inclusion is expected to strengthen India’s public healthcare delivery system, enhance research, expand Ayush insurance coverage, support research and development, and contribute to more informed policy-making.

The ICD 11 will address various diseases, including infectious diseases like Malaria and lifestyle-related conditions such as chronic insomnia. Notably, Vertigo Guidance Disorder, recognized in Ayurveda as ‘Bhramaha,’ Siddha as ‘Ajal Kirkrippu,’ and in Unani as ‘Sadra-o-Dwar,’ will be internationally coded under ICD 11.

The release of ICD 11 on January 10, 2024, in New Delhi, will mark the joint efforts of WHO and the Ministry of Ayush to bridge traditional medicine with global health standards. The international coding of Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani Medicine under the TM 2 module is expected to have a far-reaching impact on healthcare strategies worldwide. Numerous member countries of WHO have expressed their willingness to follow suit, incorporating the rich terminology of traditional medical systems into the ICD.

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